KEY POINTS

  • Bernardo Silva said that their team’s COVID-19 donation was Cristiano Ronaldo’s idea
  • Donations will be given to non-professional players in Portugal
  • Portugal qualified to Euro 2020 after Ronaldo’s 99th international goal vs. Luxembourg

Portugal midfielder Bernardo Silva named Cristiano Ronaldo as the brainchild of the national football team's plan to help amateur football players survive the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The team pledged to donate half of the bonuses they received after making it to the Euro 2020.

In a Bleacher Report interview posted on Twitter, Silva said that it was the Juventus star who brought up the idea to his teammates through their group chat in a messaging app.

“Actually, he was the one, two or three days ago, that gave us the idea to donate our bonus,” said the 25-year old Manchester City midfielder.

“So we qualified to the 2020 Euros, which now is in 2021. And he gave us the idea guys let's donate part of our bonus.”

“So, I think our national team, our players will donate 50 percent of our qualifying bonus,” the former Benfica footballer added.

Portugal earned their ticket to Euro 2020 after their 2-0 victory over Luxembourg courtesy of the Juventus forward’s late goal which raised his international goal tally to 99. According to The Guardian, Ronaldo is just a goal away from being just the second player after Ali Daei of Iran to score 100 goals while wearing his country’s colors.

"In this spirit of camaraderie between professional and non-professional football, we have decided, as a team, to give up part of our Euro 2020 qualification prize money,” the Portuguese team said in a statement transcribed by Metro. The donation will be added to Portugal Football Federation’s funds to help players from non-professional teams in the country.

Ronaldo, Silva, and the rest of the Portuguese squad will have to wait another year to defend their title after UEFA’s announcement that they will postpone the tournament for 12 months. The football-governing body also postponed other UEFA clubs and national team competitions for both men and women to address coronavirus concerns.

Portugal will enter the tournament as the reigning champion after stunning France, 1-0 in their Euro 2016 showdown despite Ronaldo’s early exit due to a knee injury. Eder’s extra-time goal propelled Portugal to the victory in front of a stunned French crowd.

There was another landmark for Cristiano Ronaldo as he scored for Juventus in their 3-0 defeat of Bayer Leverkusen Cristiano Ronaldo Photo: AFP / Isabella BONOTTO